Ruined by Amy Tintera | ARC Review

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ruined by Amy Tintera | ARC ReviewRuined by Amy Tintera
Series: Ruined #1
on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 368
Source: the Publisher
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bol.com
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

 

What I thought

It feels like forever since I managed to read a book for myself, but once I got this beauty from Harper Collins I was pretty damn excited to sit down and read away. Even more important, I finally felt like sitting down and writing a review about it after I finished this gem of a fantasy! Ruined is a strong start to a new and what appears to be a VERY promising YA trilogy!

Em is a great main character. She doesn’t have magic, and in her kingdom this is seen as a weakness, as ‘useless’. Opposed to what her kingdom thinks, she’s a very capable and strong person. She doesn’t need magic to make her fierce, her strong will and determination do the trick for her. She puts together an elaborate plan to get revenge, but that doesn’t quite go according to plan.

Em’s plan seems to go quite smoothly, until it doesn’t anymore. This is the only somewhat predictable part of the book. It’s not hard to figure out what makes her doubt her initial plan. I mean, she has to pretend to be the wife of the prince, it doesn’t really take a genius to figure out what could go ‘wrong’ there and how shit could go seriously wrong in a matter of seconds if her secret came out. But I didn’t found myself caring about the predictability at all, simply because the romance was amazingly well-done. A slow-burner, a wonderfully well-written slow -burning romance between Em and the prince. What’s not to like?

I really liked how you get to experience the events in Ruined both from Em’s perspective and Cass’s perspective. I enjoyed being able to see both their sides of everything that happened, it makes it easier to understand their actions and their reactions.

I really hope we’ll get to know more about the backstory in the sequel. For a first book in a series Ruined had the perfect amount of info to intrigue the reader and to make the world stand out,  but I do hope there’ll be more worldbuilding in the sequel, as I’d love to know more about the Ruined, both as a people as well as their powers. They are feared by all society and I’m thinking there could be quite an interesting story behind that.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

I just love it when a book is action packed, has a budding romance, and a kickass heroine hell-bent on revenge for her parent’s murder. Those are all the right elements to make for a great read. Ruined is a very strong start to a new series and I can’t wait for its sequel! For all you fantasy lovers out there, Ruined is one book to put on the wishlist!

Reboot by Amy Tintera | Book Review

Reboot by Amy Tintera | Book Review

Reboot by Amy Tintera | Book ReviewReboot by Amy Tintera
Series: Reboot #1
Published by HarperTeen on May 7th 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Pages: 365
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum. The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

What I thought NEWWhen I first read the synopsis of this book, it captured my attention immediately. The idea behind this book, the story itself, seemed just so original. Instead of the zombies we’re used to reading about, we get Reboots, humans aged 20 or under that Reboot back to life only minutes after their deaths. The longer the time between death and the actual Reboot, the less humanity is preserved when they awake. This book has been sitting on my shelf since the summer holidays and somehow I only just managed to pick this book up… boy, have I been missing out!

Reboot was such a thrilling read! Fast-paced and exciting, a kick-ass female lead and a very original and -above all- awesome take on the Zombie premise!

Wren (aka the kick-ass female lead) came back as a Reboot after being dead for 178 minutes. Her number is incredibly high and make her the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. The very first pages of Reboot, we’re thrown into and action scene between Wren and one of her targets. From then on we’re shown, having the book told from her point of view, that she is cold and ruthless and tough. These kind of characters are incredibly hard to pull of, but Wren’s somewhat stoic personality is balanced by her dry humour and a great and gripping character depth.

From the beginning to the end of this book I found the character development incredibly impressive! We’re told from the start that Wren has no humanity left, she’s been told she doesn’t have feelings from the start and believes so herself. However, since the very first time meeting Callum she slowly regains shreds of her humanity. Seeing her change in character was one of my favourite aspects of the book and at the end of this book we find a completely different girl than the one we met in those very first pages -though equally kick-ass!-

Callum was such a likable character. His personality, humour, and views and beliefs made him feel so real and easy to like. Callum, with his easy-going attitude and great personality, forces Wren to see that she does have feelings, and even though she isn’t human anymore, she is still more than she herself thought she was and more than a tool used by HARC  to keep people in line. He’s a great character and -in my opinion- a legitimate fictional boy to crush on!

The word building was very good! Amy Tintera made it so very easy to visualize. When a scene takes place where humans meet a Reboot, the amount of mistrust becomes almost suffocating. That combined with the poverty and the fear that rules the humans, I think it is safe to say that the relationship between humans and reboots isn’t good at all.

If the characters and the world building were the strongest aspects of this book, then maybe the romance was its weakness. While I didn’t mind it, I can see why others might, Wren and Callum fall in love quite easily and fast. It’s not really Insta-Love, but it comes close. There where times that I felt like the romance overshadowed the plot and dampened the concept of the Reboots a bit. Like I said, I didn’t really mind, but I can understand that others might do.

I think it is safe to say that I am rooting for this book (and can’t wait to read Rebel!). This book was awesome! Fast-paced, action-packed, great characters, awesome word building, and super original. This story was exactly what I hoped it would be and more! I loved it!